I am putting together a collage of OTR bits for my students to read and and perform in class, so they can learn about some of the great comedy that came out of the Golden Age of radio. Obviously, I will include the famed "Who's on first" routine, but what else can I include that makes up the best sketches of Old Time Radio?
I always liked Lum and Abner, Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy. Others include "Dennis Day", "Archie Andrews", Burns and Allen", Duffy's Tavern", "Fibber McGee and Molly", and "The Great Gildersleeve". Stand up comics include Bob Hope and Milton Berle. Amos and Andy is another great team. If you are looking for science fiction, "Lights Out" and "X - 1". Crime drama could be "Gangbusters" or "The Shadow". Westerns could include "Gunsmoke" with Robert Conrad or 'Hopalong Cassidy" All of these are avialable on MP3 from radio dealers at a relative small investment. I know I have just scratched the surface but maybe this will get you started. Some of the really knowledgable OTR guys probably will have some thoughts also. SmileyEl Shaitan (2/28/03 6:19 am)
Jack Benny is a great source. I would recommend the "your money or your life" routine. His Christmas shopping shows can be hysterical. "Plastic tips, metal tips, plastic tips, metal tips.........YAAAAAH!
To me, Jack Benny was the perfect radio personality... his timing was perfection and he surrounded himself with a wonderful supporting cast. He could turn a pause into a laugh. His moments with Mel Blanc are side splitting.
The Christmas shows that El Shaitan mentions are also classics.
To me, Jack Benny, The Shadow and Superman represent classic radio of the '40's. There are of course many others, but these are truly classic in terms of broad and long term popularity, as well as the most effective use of the medium. Consider: The pause; invisibility; and super powers.Tony Bolton (3/3/03 10:02 am) Reply Re: Classic Radio
The announcers of the golden age added so much to each show. Ken Carpenter, Rod O'Conner, Harry Von Zell and of course Don Wilson were valued parts of the show. The bits when Jack made Don use Jell-O in commercials were funny. Carpenter's put downs of Bing and the necessity of a strong straight man to the insanity of Red Skelton made Rod a perfect annoucer for Red.
Running gags or bits with Rochester wondering what happened to the gas man that went in the basement where Jacks's polar bear lived were great. The PI but funny bits with Butterfly McQueen as Mary's maid were extremely funny.
Phil Harris and Elliot Lewis had a running battle with Walter Tetley. One of the best episodes featured Walter gagging like a seal after taking drug created by Rexall chemists Phil and "Frankie".
Gale Gordon was a master of radio comedy and with one word could bring down the house. His support on Phil Harris, Our Miss Brooks and My Favorite Wife is superb.
When the two idiots Phil and Frankie would explain a situation to Gordon's Mr Scott the condescending and deep toned "Yes" from Gordon was so funny.
I forget the actor who did Perry White on Superman but his acting was outstanding displaying a myriad of emotions.
His frustated outbursts with his Planet staff were funny.
Chester's ramblings during filler time on Gunsmoke were always amusing and needed on the usually grim streets of Dodge.
A program that is not as easy to find as others this has the greatest singer doing many numbers but also has some good comedy bits. Jolson to Larry Parks of The Jolson Story, "Things are a little bit more even here. They can hear me singing but they can't see you."
Another highlight Humphrey Bogart singing "Mammy".
Julian Noa portrayed Perry White on radio and he set the style for the actors that followed him in television and movies.TheDurangoKid (3/16/03 4:14 pm)
If you want something for your students to read and perform in class, you might check out "Our Miss Brooks."
There are some great one-liners in that show. Also the show deals with teachers and students. Another one that I would recommend is "Suspense", a lot of great stories to use with the students.
Gunsmoke is right now my favorite radio show.
My message didn't complete for some reason.
I was trying to say, that Gunsmoke is my favorite show right now because, I just finished my 200th episode. I have them oll on MP3.
Forget my recommendation about Suspense, after reflecting, I dont recall any comedy in them, they are all drama.
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